Die Familie Frank, Ausstellung 'Anne Frank und die Schweiz', Landesmuseum Zürich. Foto/Photo: TES,

Anne Frank’s diary became a global phenomenon in the wake of the Holocaust. However, few people are aware of the extent to which the Frank family and the dissemination of Anne’s diary are associated with Switzerland.

Only Otto Frank, the father of Anne, survived the concentration camps. He eventually settled in Switzerland, and it was from here that he launched his quest to take the legacy of his daughter Anne to the whole world. Her diaries are a plea for more humanity and tolerance, and they have become part of world literature.

The history of Anne Frank is representative of the fate of Jewish families during World War II. The exhibition (Anne Frank und die Schweiz) interweaves the flight of Anne Frank’s family to Amsterdam from Frankfurt am Main in 1933 with the lives of the relatives in exile in Basel.

The parallel stories of the two branches of the family, and how their lives unfolded during World War II, makes the viewer keenly aware of the specific threats to Jews in two small European nation, the one occupied by Germany, the other under a permanent threat of an invasion.

The exhibition’s central theme is the diary of Anne Frank, which is presented in facsimile with displays and exhibits adding further detail to her accounts of life in hiding. It paints a picture of the conditions under which the texts were created, and examines the history of their impact and appeal. Using objects, photos and documents, the exhibition gives a glimpse into the family’s life.

The exhibition presents an authentic narrative and opens up a view of their life, also covering refugee policy and refugee assistance in Switzerland during World War II.